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Blue Drop Shop: Contributing IRL

Planet Drupal - Mon, 06/10/2014 - 13:29

Let’s face facts: I am not a coder. With a lot of caffeine, much googling and more time than is reasonable, I *can* code my way out of a paper bag, but that’s about it.

So it is highly unlikely you will ever see my username tied to a module or on a list of contributors. Sure, I created the occasional new issue on a module’s issue queue or provided feedback for a patch I needed, which in itself is a form of contributing. But messing around with core? Funny. Me writing a patch? Nope. Sprinting? I only run when being chased.

According to d.o then, I am not a contributor. 

The outward problem with this is that the language around contributing back to Drupal is code-centric. The current system places emphasis on how many commits you have and how many projects you maintain. But there is hope for those of you who, like me, won't be contributing back code anytime soon. 

I am a co-organizer for the Fox Valley Drupal Meetup Group in the western suburbs of Chicago. We held our first camp in 2013 and I was part of the team that helped pull it off, and we recently wrapped our 2014 camp.

When the idea of the inaugural MidCamp was getting kicked around, I offered up my logistics help for that as well. And I'm on deck as the logistics lead 2015.

Through my non-Drupal day job, I have extensive print experience and do a fair amount of video production work tied to the annual conference we host. So I was all over session records for all three camps, and I'm working on a rebooted session recording kit that the Drupal Association is very interested in learning more about. 

My print skills have been tapped by the core mentor team, mostly because I was hanging around a bunch of them at Drupalcon Austin and they needed materials printed for the mentored sprints at Drupalcon Amsterdam. 

Hell, I even got roped into catering the extended sprints at Austin mainly because I am passionate about food, especially when it comes from something with four wheels and an engine.

My point: there are many opportunities to give back to the community and the project as a whole in real life. It took me a while before I realized that yes, I am a contributor. Just not in a way that is currently measured. But that's not why I do it. I am forever indebted to all the heavy code lifters that I depend on for my work. It just feels good to be able to give back.

So while it’s highly unlikely you’ll ever see any kind of percentage powered by kthull on a Drupal site, I’ll continue to lend my time and talents where I can. You should too.

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Categories: Elsewhere

Nuez Web Blog: Top 5 talks at the DrupalCon Amsterdam

Planet Drupal - Mon, 06/10/2014 - 12:30
Last week I attended another very enlightening DrupalCon - this time in Amsterdam - with a wide variety of talks about Drupal ranging from hardcore computer science to business strategies and design. Also with a wide range of levels, which, to be honest, didn’t always match the difficulty mentioned on the official programme. So which ones were the best speeches for an all-round Drupal professional like me? 

Photo taken at the Druplicon with Drupal professional Marcel Ritsema and the team of Dutch Drupal shop Merge.

So what is an all-round Drupal professional like me? That's someone who mainly uses Drupal as a tool to build websites and web apps, knows how to build a module and a theme (sometimes shares them with the community), but does not necessarily understand all the nuts and bolts of core, especially of the Drupal 8 core.

This blog post is about the 5 most valuable talks I’ve...Read more

Categories: Elsewhere

ERPAL: Two important Drupal facts resulting from Drupalcon Amsterdam 2014

Planet Drupal - Mon, 06/10/2014 - 10:05
Two important Drupal facts resulting from Drupalcon Amsterdam 2014

This year was our first as a silver sponsor with an ERPAL booth at a Drupalcon. As we had lots of BOFs and interesting talks with other Drupal developers and sponsors from various companies, I’d like to share my thoughts and conclusions in this blog post. It became obvious that the community agrees about two very important facts:

Fact 1: Drupal is not a CMS

You might exclaim, "But this is written everywhere!" – and you would be entirely right. When companies are looking for a CMS, what do they want? Mostly a ready-to-use system to manage their content. In general, they expect to start adding their content quickly and easily. Responsiveness is required straightaway and no content site works without media management. However, when we install Drupal, we don’t get a CMS that works for end users right out of the box: we get a clean and slim Drupal installation that takes quite a bit of modification before it’ll work for a content site, but it’s much more powerful! Nonetheless, it can also be a little disappointing. With all the contrib modules available, you can build almost any web application you want, but to create a full-featured content site, you need to be an experienced Drupal site builder. You need to know how entities/nodes work, how rules and panels do their job, why and how to use features for deployment and why you won’t find a ready-to-use "image gallery" module – instead, you have to build it yourself. This can be problem when, after installation, Drupal doesn’t live up to these unwarranted expectations. If you need an easy-to-use CMS that works immediately after installation, WordPress may be a better choice, as it does what people expect. Install and use for your content management, done!

Drupal can do content management as well, but it needs to be built manually. In all our conversations we prefer to call Drupal an “application framework”. And many of the people I talked to at Drupalcon seemed to agree with that.

So you can use Drupal to build a full-featured CMS if you’re an experienced site builder and know all the modules and how they interact with each other. Or you can use a ready-built Drupal installation specialized for content management (if there is one). These vertical use cases are called “distributions” and there are already lots of them out there at Drupal.org. A Drupal distribution is a collection of preconfigured modules that provide features for a specific purpose, say, content management. Drupal is a framework, as Linux Magazine wrote in a previous blogpost: Drupal provides the horizontal "infrastructure modules" like fields and entities for building a data model, views for data queries and lists, rules for business logic, feeds and webservice clients for interaction with external systems and their APIs, panels and display suite as well as other formatters for layouting and display control. Everything we need to build powerful web applications is available as a module.

Since many Drupalistas see Drupal in the same way, I want to plead with everybody to allow Drupal to meet the expectations of its users. Let’s show the world the power of Drupal to build web applications, and show it with vertical distributions and use cases that are different from your typical CMS. Give end users a functional and full-featured distribution for content management but don't hide Drupal for other purposes like collaboration platforms, e-commerce systems, CRM systems, business applications, or planning tools. I guess the list is almost endless and content management is just one item: Drupal can be used to build all of them, nearly without coding, but out-of-the-box it is not.

Fact 2: Integration really matters

Another important fact I realized at Drupalcon is that many people are looking for examples of integration use cases. Drupal integrates with other systems very well – we’re often asked to integrate it with the “big players” in the software industry. And even better: it can extend the functionality of other system's data to integrate it with new workflows. Sharepoint and SAP integration requests show that Drupal has matured and that it’s now being viewed as an enterprise application framework. It only lacks public success stories that showcase these integrations. When I presented the Drupal cross-enterprise integration on an example of Sharepoint at the Drupalcamp in Frankfurt, I was asked "Why should one even do this?" The question is legitimate, of course. Why indeed should a Drupal developer use Drupal and Sharepoint together? The answer is to be found in the enterprise. Whenever you use Drupal in the enterprise for an intranet, a workflow management system, a CMS or a collaboration platform, the first thing you’re asked is: “Can we integrate with LDAP to avoid duplicate user accounts and permission duplication? Can we have a single sign-on? Can we see documents stored in Sharepoint in our Drupal instance? What about integrating SAP applications and can we reuse data from Drupal in Sharepoint or SAP?” The answer is: yes, yes and yes we can! But only a few will actually believe that, since they won’t find (m)any use cases in Google or Drupal.org.

So what we should foster in the Drupal community is the publication of stories of successful integration scenarios with other enterprise systems. Of course, these use cases won’t be as shiny as beautifully designed content sites, but they will help Drupal grow. Compared with other web applications systems Drupal is one of the most flexible: nobody argues this. It’s flexible and open to "talk" to other systems. In many of my conversations at Drupalcon it became clear that there are many niche use cases in the enterprise that would be expensive to build with other commercial systems, since code changes are always time-consuming and risky. From our daily work with Drupal we know that they’re much easier to build with Drupal, mostly by configuration. But almost none of the decision makers know this, which leads us back to "Fact 1 - Drupal is not a CMS". So whenever you build applications with Drupal that are integrated with other enterprise systems like SAP or Sharepoint, PLEASE publish and promote them! This will help Drupal grow in the enterprise, where we all want to see it settled in the future.

Conclusion: Let’s do it together

So if you agree and want to see Drupal as a world-leading application framework someday, share this information and help us with the next steps. If you’re interested in further discussion, use the comment function. If there are enough people interested in this movement, let’s put our heads together and plan how we can better meet the requirements of Drupal users. Perhaps you even have some use cases that represent Drupal as mentioned in Fact 1 and Fact 2? Don't hesitate to go public with them. If you DON'T agree with this opinion and we didn’t meet at Drupalcon, you’re most welcome to share your thoughts here as well.

Categories: Elsewhere

Freelock : Ask Freelock: Upgrade D6 to Drupal 7, or wait for 8?

Planet Drupal - Mon, 06/10/2014 - 07:11

Apparently there's some FUD (Fear, Uncertainty and Doubt) being sown by a few Drupal shops who are spreading downright wrong information about Drupal 8, trying to encourage people to upgrade to 7 now. One of our clients called in a panic unsure whether she needed to act, after getting approached by Drupal Geeks pitching this misleading content, which they've now posted in a highly inaccurate blog page, here:

6 Reasons to Upgrade to Drupal 7 Right Now

DrupalDrupal PlanetDrupal 8FUD
Categories: Elsewhere

Robert Douglass: The DrupalCon Amsterdam Prenote : Drupal Memories

Planet Drupal - Sun, 05/10/2014 - 23:28

Rob, Jam, and guests tell the history of DrupalCon, from Antwerp to Amsterdam, from the point of view of those whose lives were changed by them. This video includes "Oh, and one time, at Drupal Camp", "The Drupal 8 Bug Elimination Challenge", a guest appearance by Captain Drupal, a performance of "The Drupal Song", a re-enactment of the genesis of Acquia, a "Never Marry Me" proposal, and a stunning performance of "Memories" by Bryn and Campbell Vertesi.

It also concludes with the inaugural instance of "Selfieception", the culmination of the underlying metaphor behind this show. Inspired by Daniel Kahneman's TED Talk about "the future as anticipated memories", Rob and Jam set about to create a show that ties our collective experience to "the experiencing self that lives in the present, the remembering self that maintains the story of your life", and to use "storytelling as a function of what we remember from our experiences".

As we tell the stories of our DrupalCons, and how they defined us (remembering self), we engage in a dialog with the audience, who has to pay close attention to capture every moment (experiencing self), as indeed we'll have to do through the coming days of sessions, meetings, chance encounters, and business opportunities. But in a tip-of-the-hat to our remembering selves, we decide to take selfies to remember the moment by. However, to frame the shot in an optimal way, we must all turn our backs on each other, and thus the conflict between experiencing self and remembering self is embodied: the remembering self demands that the experiencing self sacrifices the performer-audience dialog, and turns the back to the present in anticipation of a future memory.

Thanks to the Drupal Association for supporting our ongoing tradition of the DrupalCon Prenote, thanks to the 1,500 people who got out of bed to be at our show at 8:00 in the morning, and thanks to everyone who stood up to tell their story.

Tags: Drupal PlanetDrupalDrupalConSelfieception
Categories: Elsewhere

Stefano Zacchiroli: je code

Planet Debian - Sun, 05/10/2014 - 16:48
je.code(); — promoting programming (in French)

jecode.org is a nice initiative by, among others, my fellow Debian developer and university professor Martin Quinson. The goal of jecode.org is to raise awareness about the importance of learning the basics of programming, for everyone in modern societies. jecode.org targets specifically francophone children (hence the name, for "I code").

I've been happy to contribute to the initiative with my thoughts on why learning to program is so important today, joining the happy bunch of "codeurs" on the web site. If you read French, you can find them reposted below. If you also write French, you might want to contribute your thoughts on the matter. How? By forking the project of course!

Pourquoi codes-tu ?

Tout d'abord, je code parce que c'est une activité passionnante, drôle, et qui permet de prouver le plaisir de créer.

Deuxièmement, je code pour automatiser les taches répétitives qui peuvent rendre pénibles nos vies numériques. Un ordinateur est conçu exactement pour cela: libérer les êtres humains des taches stupides, pour leur permettre de se concentrer sur les taches qui ont besoin de l'intelligence humaine pour être résolues.

Mais je code aussi pour le pur plaisir du hacking, i.e., trouver des utilisations originelles et inattendues pour des logiciels existants.

Comment as-tu appris ?

Complètement au hasard, quand j'étais gamin. À 7 ou 8 ans, je suis tombé dans la bibliothèque municipale de mon petit village, sur un livre qui enseignait à programmer en BASIC à travers la métaphore du jeu de l'oie. À partir de ce jour j'ai utilisé le Commodore 64 de mon père beaucoup plus pour programmer que pour les jeux vidéo: coder est tellement plus drôle!

Plus tard, au lycée, j'ai pu apprécier la programmation structurée et les avantages énormes qu'elle apporte par rapport aux GO TO du BASIC et je suis devenu un accro du Pascal. Le reste est venu avec l'université et la découverte du Logiciel Libre: la caverne d'Ali Baba du codeur curieux.

Quel est ton langage préféré ?

J'ai plusieurs langages préférés.

J'aime Python pour son minimalisme syntactique, sa communauté vaste et bien organisée, et pour l'abondance des outils et ressources dont il dispose. J'utilise Python pour le développement d'infrastructures (souvent équipées d'interfaces Web) de taille moyenne/grande, surtout si j'ai envie des créer une communauté de contributeurs autour du logiciel.

J'aime OCaml pour son système de types et sa capacité de capturer les bonnes propriétés des applications complexes. Cela permet au compilateur d'aider énormément les développeur à éviter des erreurs de codage comme de conception.

J'utilise aussi beaucoup Perl et le shell script (principalement Bash) pour l'automatisation des taches: la capacité de ces langages de connecter d'autres applications est encore inégalée.

Pourquoi chacun devrait-il apprendre à programmer ou être initié ?

On est de plus en plus dépendants des logiciels. Quand on utilise une lave-vaisselle, on conduit une voiture, on est soigné dans un hôpital, quand on communique sur un réseau social, ou on surfe le Web, nos activités sont constamment exécutées par des logiciels. Celui qui contrôle ces logiciels contrôle nos vies.

Comme citoyens d'un monde qui est de plus en plus numérique, pour ne pas devenir des esclaves 2.0, nous devons prétendre le contrôle sur le logiciel qui nous entoure. Pour y parvenir, le Logiciel Libre---qui nous permet d'utiliser, étudier, modifier, reproduire le logiciel sans restrictions---est un ingrédient indispensable. Aussi bien qu'une vaste diffusion des compétences en programmation: chaque bit de connaissance dans ce domaine nous rende tous plus libres.

Categories: Elsewhere

Frederic Marand: Drupal 8 tip of the day : check menu links consistency

Planet Drupal - Sun, 05/10/2014 - 14:16

One of the interesting aspects of the revamped menu/links system in Drupal 8 is the fact that menu links are now in easily parseable YAML files, the "(module).links.menu.yml" in each module, in which each menu link can be bound to its parent link, hopefully producing a tree-like structure.

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Categories: Elsewhere

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